Columbia Hospital for Women Medical Center in Washington has received approval for a financial reorganization plan and has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Columbia has approved the reorganization plan, under which the hospital-which isn't affiliated with Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.-will repay all debts to all its creditors, including the Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi.
The 75-bed not-for-profit facility declared bankruptcy early last year in an attempt to shield about $45 million in hospital cash and assets from the Bank of Tokyo, which had a legal claim on the assets. The hospital said it feared the bank would sell off the assets.
The hospital has bounced back from severe losses two years ago. In the fiscal year ended June 30, 1997, it lost $17 million on net revenues of $45.7 million. For fiscal 1998, the loss was reduced to $8 million on net revenues of $47.8 million. Between July 1 and Nov. 30, 1998, Columbia lost only $750,000.
Safa Rifka, M.D., president of the hospital's medical staff, attributes the reductions in losses to improved collections, decreased use of contract nurses, combined pharmacy and purchasing functions, and increased purchasing through the Premier hospital alliance.
He also says the hospital has changed its focus from being almost solely an obstetrics-gynecology specialty facility to one that offers broader assistance to women, such as gastrointestinal endoscopy, plastic and cosmetic surgery, urology services and a wellness center.
That has increased patient volume, he says. After registering a dip in discharges in fiscal 1998, to 5,810 compared with 6,453 in 1997, the hospital is projecting an increase to more than 6,000 for 1999.
Rifka says the hospital also is interested in seeking merger partners, but only with "community-oriented" not-for-profit hospitals. So far, the only offer has come from King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services, which owns an 80% stake in nearby George Washington University Hospital, Rifka says.